In contrast to just feeling tired, how likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the following situations? (Even if you have not done some of these things recently, try to work out how they would have affected you.) Use the following sleep test scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:
0 = Would never doze
1 = Slight chance of dozing
2 = Moderate chance of dozing
3 = High chance of dozing
Berger/Henry ENT Center
Jamestown Medical Building
Chestnut Hill Medical Building
The Oaks Medical Center
Date Posted: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Alan Berger
Our sleeping position is mainly a matter of comfort but may be dictated by some health issues. No matter what position you choose to sleep in, it must be comfortable so that you can get that 8 hours of recommended rest each night. All sleeping positions have positive and negative points but some are better for particular issues than others.
Sleeping on one side or the other is the most common sleep position. Most people have a particular preference and you can actually tell which side they sleep on over time because the ear on that side will be closer to the skull. Whether in the fetal position or stretched out, the benefits of side sleeping are:
Side sleepers need to avoid spinal curvature and may need abdominal or side support. For some, a body pillow may help while others prefer to roll further over. Some side sleepers also experience pain from the knees resting against each other or in the lower back. The Mayo Clinic recommends sleeping with a pillow between the knees to alleviate back strain.
In addition, you need to make sure that your head is in alignment with your shoulders so a good supportive pillow is essential. If you are concerned about facial wrinkles, a silk pillow case may be less drying and won’t pull the skin as much but many people find them “slippery”.
Sleeping on your back is actually not that common but is often the position people try to start out in when going to sleep. It minimizes face and neck wrinkles as your face is not pressed against the bed surface. Back sleeping may also be beneficial to those with:
Back sleeping may produce lower back pain which can sometimes be alleviated with a pillow placed under the knees. There are pillows that are commercially available for this purpose but you can just as easily use one of your own.
Those who are bedridden should seek medical advice before using a knee pillow as it can increase the risk of blood clot formation in the legs if used for long periods of time without exercise.
Stomach sleepers are fairly rare but may be good bed partners. Stomach sleepers are less likely to snore because their airways are opened; however, this position can put stress on the lower back and should probably be avoided by those with back problems. Children are more prone to stomach sleeping than adults, though the American Pediatric Association no longer recommends putting infants on their stomachs due to the increased risk of suffocation.
People who like stomach sleeping may be concerned about wrinkles as the face is pressed into the bed or pillow. Those that don’t like stomach sleeping may feel claustrophobic or suffocated. It may also cause back pain. Using a thinner pillow for the head and placing a thin pillow under the hips or forgoing the pillow altogether may help.
Whichever sleeping position you prefer, getting comfortable with a good night’s sleep is essential. Lack of sleep doesn’t just cause fatigue or grouchiness, it causes real health problems. Don’t be afraid to invest in a quality pillow – or more than one if you need it. You may have to try out a few but with all of the options available, each designed for a different purpose, the right one is out there.